Wednesday, November 30, 2005

IT'S ABOUT COMMUNITY.Letter To The Editor, THE DAILY TRIPLICATE

What do Laramie, Wyoming; Walla Walla, Washington; Claremont, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; Northampton, Massachusetts; Oxford, Missippi; Ashland, Oregon; Austin, Texas;Logan, Utah; Boulder, Colorado; Fairbanks, Alaska; Hanover, New Hampshire; Grinnell, Iowa; and Bozeman, Montana all have in common? They all have relatively high employment for their respective states and skilled workforces; and, they all have surtaxed themselves to support their local school systems. As a result, a higher proportion of young adults in these communities go on to colleges and universities. These communities invested in their young people, and the investment paid dividends in terms of developing an ongoing Community of educated, skilled, and responsible adults.

Because these also happen to be college and university communities, visitors enjoy coming to them to sample music, dance, theater, other arts, meetings, forums, and sporting events.

And their economies develop as well.

The topic of development and the economy brings us to Del Norte County and the local discussion/debate. The Chamber of Commerce idea to market Del Norte County through their Visitors Bureau in order to attract visitors is a good one. The idea to spend more on marketing is good as well, in my opinion. How much City and County (taxpayers') money should be spent on this marketing effort and what will be the mechanisms for oversight and accountability remain to be seen.

Hopefully, a Community Consensus will develop, and sustainable, economic development will ensue. Tourism, hopefully, will play a big part. Will education, as well?

And, more to the point, what about the "skills set" development of our children, the "life skills" of our young adults and the "spiritual" (in its broader interpretation) and "cultural" development of the Community?

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